Sunday 22 April 2018

Anthony Martial proves his worth off the bench as Manchester United beat Spurs

Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester

Anthony Martial once again proved his value off the bench after his 81st-minute strike gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory over Tottenham in a cagey affair at Old Trafford.

With the rain bucketing down in the north-west neither side was able to dictate the tempo in an even contest, and it seemed the spoils would be shared when Lukaku's header came back off a post.

But a defensive lapse from the visitors allowed an unmarked Lukaku to flick on for substitute Martial, whose bobbled effort went beyond Hugo Lloris for the Frenchman's fourth goal as a substitute this season.

More importantly for United, Martial's strike maintained their 100 per cent winning record at home this season, in which they have not conceded either, as they moved three points clear of third-placed Spurs in the Premier League.

Rivals Manchester City retained a five-point cushion at the top of the standings but were given a brief scare before running out 3-2 winners at West Brom.

Free-scoring City went ahead in the 10th minute when Leroy Sane slammed home but they were almost immediately pegged back when Gareth Barry's lofted ball allowed Jay Rodriguez to outmuscle John Stones and lift over Ederson.

Normal service resumed in a frantic opening quarter of an hour as Fernandinho's deflected strike crept past Ben Foster, whose net was breached again in the 64th minute when Raheem Sterling slotted home from David Silva's low cross.

Matt Phillips profited from a Nicolas Otamendi error to score in stoppage time but City's eighth successive league win was never in doubt.

Arsenal bounced back from trailing at half-time to edge out Swansea 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

Sam Clucas netted his first goal since swapping Hull for Swansea in the summer, latching onto Tammy Abraham's through ball and slotting under Petr Cech and it was a lead they hung on to at half-time to the chagrin of the home support.

Arsenal were rejuvenated on the resumption and only needed five minutes to level matters as Sead Kolasinac fired across former Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, while Aaron Ramsey netted the winner from Kolasinac's cutback just before the hour.

Liverpool's second-half blitz brought Huddersfield crashing back down to earth following the Terriers' win over Manchester United last week.

Mohamed Salah missed a first-half penalty but any Reds nerves were settled through goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino before Georginio Wijnaldum netted to clinch a 3-0 win.

Wilfried Zaha scored in the seventh minute of time added-on as rock-bottom Crystal Palace battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with West Ham.

First-half goals from Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew looked to have given under pressure Hammers manager Slaven Bilic a much-needed lift but Luka Milivojevic's penalty and Zaha's last-gasp strike helped the Eagles claim a point.

Darren Fletcher grabbed his first goal for Stoke and his 16th-minute volley proved decisive in the Potters' surprise 1-0 victory at Watford, who dropped one place in the table to seventh following Liverpool's win.

Arsenal's position of fourth in the table was short-lived after Chelsea defeated Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium, with the Blues and the Gunners now just a point behind Tottenham.

Eden Hazard's first Premier League goal of the season separated the sides on the south coast, with the Chelsea playmaker slotting home from an acute angle six minutes after half-time.

Steve Cook could have snatched an undeserved leveller at the death but he fired straight at Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Press Association

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